COVID-19: Compassionate entry for travellers and limited release from quarantine

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Mandatory requirements

Starting January 7, 2021, air travellers 5 years of age or older will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result to the airline prior to boarding international flights bound for Canada.

Every person entering Canada, with limited exceptions, must quarantine for 14 days, starting on the day of arrival. Travellers entering Canada may seek approval for a limited release from mandatory quarantine for compassionate reasons.

Foreign nationals wishing to enter Canada for compassionate reasons must also seek approval for an exemption to border restrictions.

Canadian citizens, permanent residents and persons registered under the Indian Act may enter Canada by right and don't need an exemption to border restrictions.

Before your trip to Canada, you must receive advance approval for both the exemption to the border restrictions (for foreign nationals only) and a limited release from quarantine.

Each traveller, including dependent children, must submit their own application form. Individuals must submit a signed letter of required support or proof of death as well as any necessary site visit authorizations to:

It's an offence under the Quarantine Act to provide a false or misleading statement, which could lead to up to:

As of November 21, 2020, all travellers must use ArriveCAN to provide mandatory travel information on and after their entry into Canada.

Letter of required support

A letter of required support, signed by a health care professional licensed to practise in Canada, is required if you're:

A letter of required support isn't required to attend a funeral or end of life ceremony.

  1. Download the Letter of Required Support Form (PDF).
  2. Send the letter of required support to the licensed health care professional who can certify that your presence is required.
  3. You'll need the completed and signed letter of required support to submit your completed application to us for processing.

Each applicant requires their own letter of required support.

Proof of death

If you need to attend a funeral or end of life ceremony, the following documents are examples that can be used as part of the death notification:

Site visit authorization during limited release from quarantine

If you need to leave your place of quarantine temporarily for a compassionate reason, you need additional permission from the site you're visiting.

A Site Visit Authorization Form is mandatory and requires signature by the person in charge of the location. This can be an administrator, proprietor or homeowner of the site.

A Site Visit Authorization Form isn't required if you're visiting a public outdoor setting or site, for example, a funeral in a public park.

Provincial and territorial quarantine requirements may not allow for limited release from mandatory quarantine for compassionate reasons. Check with the provincial or territorial health authority for your destination to verify any additional restrictions or requirements.

Instructions to request authorization to visit a site

  1. Download the Site Visit Authorization Form (PDF).
  2. Send the Site Visit Authorization Form to the administrator, proprietor or homeowner of each site or location you need to visit during your limited release from quarantine, such as:
    • hospitals
    • funeral home
    • place of worship
    • retirement home
    • long-term care facility
    • palliative care facility, such as a hospice
    • private residence where the death or end of life ceremony is occurring or where you're supporting a critically ill person or caring for a person with a medical condition
  3. You'll need the completed and signed Site Visit Authorization Form(s) to include with your application.

Apply for compassionate entry and/or limited release from quarantine

Choose the application type that describes your situation.

For foreign nationals who need to enter Canada or are already quarantining in Canada who now need to leave their place of quarantine

Complete this application if you're a foreign national who has:

  • not yet travelled to Canada
  • already entered Canada and is currently required to stay in their place of quarantine for the full 14-day period

You may apply for a limited release from mandatory quarantine to:

  • attend a funeral or end of life ceremony
  • be present during the final moments of life for a loved one
  • provide support or care to someone who's critically ill
  • provide care for a person who has a medical reason as to why they require support

You can apply using the Application for Entry and/or Limited Release from Quarantine Form. Make sure you have everything you need before starting. You won't be able to save the form for completion later.

  1. Fill out all required fields on each page of the application.
    • There are 8 pages in total. Clicking 'Next' to get to the following page doesn't submit information or your application.
  2. Attach the signed Letter of Required Support Form or proof of death and a signed Site Authorization Form(s), if applicable, on page 6 of the application.
  3. Submit your application through the secure portal.
    • You'll receive an immediate message indicating, 'Submission completed successfully.'

You'll also receive a receipt email with an application number.

Your application will be assessed by the Public Health Agency of Canada. We'll confirm that your request meets the requirements for entry and limited release from mandatory quarantine for compassionate reasons.

For those who are permitted by right to enter Canada

Complete this application if you're a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or person registered under the Indian Act who needs a limited release from mandatory quarantine to:

  • attend a funeral or end of life ceremony
  • be present during the final moments of life for a loved one
  • provide support or care to someone who's critically ill
  • provide care for a person who has a medical reason as to why they require support

You can apply using the Application for Limited Release from Quarantine Form. Make sure you have everything you need before starting. You won't be able to save the form for completion later.

  1. Fill out all required fields on page 1 of the application.
    • There are 8 pages in total. Clicking 'Next' to get to the following page doesn't submit information or your application.
  2. Attach the signed Letter of Required Support Form or proof of death, and a signed Site Authorization Form(s) on page 6 of the application.
  3. Submit your application through the secure portal.
    • You'll receive an immediate message indicating, 'Submission completed successfully.'

You'll also receive a receipt email with an application number.

Your application will be assessed by the Public Health Agency of Canada. We'll confirm that your request meets the requirements for limited release from mandatory quarantine for compassionate reasons.

Service standard

The Public Health Agency of Canada's goal is to respond to applications within 7 business days. Some cases will fall outside this service standard.

Other travel requirements

All international travellers must carry acceptable identification and a valid visa (if necessary) when entering Canada. Visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website to learn more about what travel documents are required.

If you plan to quarantine with a person at risk of more severe disease or outcomes from COVID-19, you may be asked to provide proof at the border of their consent for you to quarantine with them. Learn more about exemptions, quarantine and advice.

You must follow Canada's public health guidelines for COVID-19 as well as any conditions set by provincial, territorial and local public health authorities. This must be done for the duration of your stay in Canada. In cases where provincial and federal requirements differ, follow the most stringent requirements.

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